[Histonet] Fatty tissues processing

From:"Stephen Peters M.D."

Hi Dorothy,
I am sure you will responses from people who know a lot more about such protocols than I do. I will give you a pathologists point of view. First, whoever is doing your grossing has to cut these tissues no more than 3 mm thick across the entire piece. If you are dealing with residents this is a common problem. From the edge it looks 3 mm but at the center it is thicker. I tell my gang to try for 2-3 mm with fatty tissues. Once cut the proper thickness, it must fix in a proper quantity of formalin for more time than it sits in the processor. I would make sure after cutting the 3mm section, most fatty tissues spend at least a 3 hours more in formalin before putting it in the processor. In the case of breast biopsies there is too much at risk in trying to read a poorly processed section. We have gone to letting most breast specimens fix overnight before processing. But it still has to be cut thin prior to fixing or you will be wasting your time.
Rather than have special processing protocols for fatty tissue, you may find better results by simplymaking sure your grossing people taking proper care in sectioning and fixation of the tissues.
Stephen Peters MD
Pathology Innovations
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